Home Trending News How community and Indigenous efforts contribute to protecting our oceans | Stories

How community and Indigenous efforts contribute to protecting our oceans | Stories

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How community and Indigenous efforts contribute to protecting our oceans | Stories


Clearly, change is needed to protect our ocean’s incredible wildlife, but we also need to ensure that such protection doesn’t cut off access to the ocean’s many varied resources for the hundreds of millions of people who depend on them.

While marine protected areas are the most well-known pathway to protect marine life and can incorporate community resource needs, there are other solutions that can also support both people and nature living along coasts. Those involved in ocean conservation are increasingly turning toward one such solution known as ‘other effective conservation measures’ (OECMs) to work alongside marine protected areas as complementary pathways that protect our ocean ecosystems. OECMs are geographic sites that are not within a protected area, that deliver long-term biodiversity conservation under equitable governance and management. They embrace the power and importance of local community involvement in protecting ocean ecosystems and recognize that many people already integrate conservation actions into their lives through religious or traditional preservation. With the community’s consent, governments can formally recognize these actions as OECMs, which could not only give legal recognition of Indigenous and community rights to the area but also count towards global biodiversity conservation targets such as 30×30.

WWF is working with coastal communities in Chile, Ecuador, and many other countries to encourage governments to formally recognize this community-led work, legitimize community and Indigenous actions, and support the protection of our ocean wildlife.

Here’s a closer look at how this work is moving forward.



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